Preamble: What originally was a tiny paragraph, based on a silly notion, suddenly became a four part opus.
My chronometer read 12:22. We were running late!
Marilyn Monroe and I pushed our way through the throngs of cheering Texans, most of whom dumbly stared as the star of Some Like It Hot sent the crowd flying on their flabby keisters. I hated to rely on shoving, but the future of the United States, nay, of the world, teetered in the balance, and we only had a scant eight minutes to change a great man's fate.
“Holy cow. I think that was Marilyn Monroe!” a lady in a pointed beehive gasped from alongside the parade route.
“She sure has got some hairy arms.” offered a man with a thick Texas drawl.
We’d made it this far in our mission without the civilians catching on to our deception. I was actually quite surprised. On such a drizzly November morning, I had expected Marilyn's makeup to have washed away hours ago.
My associate wasn’t actually the movie star everyone thought “she” was. Marilyn Monroe was actually a 5 foot 6, 400 pound, silverback mountain gorilla disguised as Marilyn Monroe.
An improperly disguised animal companion can ruin a mission from the very start. I thought we had failed when we disembarked our airplane and Marilyn immediately began thumping his chest and tossing waste at a bomb-sniffing German Shepherd.
In my line of work there is a harsh penalty for failure.
Luckily, “celebrity” carried a different weight in 1963 than it does in the 2000's. The guards at the airport ignored Ms. Monroe's quirkiness when I, as her “publicist”, told them the sex symbol’s nervous exhaustion from a recent coo-ing tour had prompted her misbehavior. Fortunately, the fools bought it. Unfortunately, the misunderstanding had cost us critical minutes. If I've learned one thing from this job its to always view the glass as half empty. That and women's wigs were never designed to be worn by gorillas.
“Marilyn, adjust your hair!”
I was thankful for my rugby legs as I charged ahead of the lumbering gorilla. He pulled the golden wig into place over his tiny ears and followed behind me. The Texas School Book Depository loomed ahead of us.
A glint of metal was barely visible in the sixth floor window. I ran faster.
Instinct: it’s the tangible that separates the beasts from mankind. Geese migrate because of instinct. The cheetah hunts because of instinct. Even the platypus does stuff because of instinct. Instinct keeps the animals humble.
Mankind has no instinct. Our intellect changes us. With every generation intellect makes us weaker and weaker. As we move further away from our animal natures, we become more dependent on technology; the world of man, the world of intellect. Great men die because of intellect and the power that corrupts them.
Instinct will keep animals here for many millennia long after mankind destroys itself. Trust me. I've already seen humanity's fate. And it really, really sucks.
You see. There are crucial points in mankind’s thread where a little outside assistance is needed to straighten things out. Think of it as a knot. Well that’s where I come in. I’m the guy who unties those knots with the help of my time-traveling, animal friends dressed as cultural icons.
I am the Handler!
To be continued...